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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Debut Novel from Christian Author E.C. Jackson


A Gateway to Hope  by E.C. Jackson is a story of Neka, a quiet young woman waiting for her dreams to come true, and James, an ambitious man with a difficult family.  Neka's family turns out to be a bit troublesome, too, although it is done out of concern for Neka.  Can an impulsive trip and a surprise proposal end in happiness for James and Neka?

The novel includes a lot of real estate development talk, since both families are in that business.  The events of the story are universal, though, as families deal with common problems whatever their business.  What the novel does not have is gratuitous sex.  Nor will you find foul language.   You can just read freely, enjoying a detailed story about relationships.

One item I would like to see in a future edition of this book is a list of characters at the beginning of the novel for reference.  I sometimes had to stop and think about which names were sisters and which were friends or cousins, for instance.  Not a big problem, though.

E.C. Jackson Facebook Page

Friday, May 15, 2015

More Jane Austen-Inspired Fan Fiction


The exploits of the Bingley's son after they move from Pemberley to Bethany House are chronicled in Part 2 of A Pride and Prejudice Sequel: Life After the Wedding.  In Part 3 a great ball is planned by the Bingley's and the Darcy's--until influenza hits England hard.  The characters generations grew to love in Pride and Prejudice continue their lives in Denise O'Hara's three-part sequel.  Another generation now needs to learn the lessons once learned by their parents!

Check out all three parts together in paperback  if you prefer physical books to Kindle versions.  I wonder which Jane Austen would choose if she read and wrote today.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

After "Pride & Prejudice"...

Do you often feel sad when you reach the end of a good book?  Sometimes those characters feel like old friends and we miss them, right?  Denise O'Hara has crafted a treat for Jane Austen fans. Enjoy her interpretation of what might have happened after Pride & Prejudice.

In Book One of her novella series, Jane and Lizzy adjust to married life, meet extended family, and become mothers.  These experiences help them better understand their own mother.  Understanding Mrs. Bennet doesn't necessarily make her more pleasant, however.  The Bingleys do what they must to keep Mrs. Bennet from upsetting Jane any more.

I received a free review copy of this novella and will be reviewing the rest of the 3-part series soon.  Check back later!

Small Business Marketing Resource


Small Business Acceleration: Get Noticed using Facebook, LinkedIn, Email Marketing, Public Relations and Video Marketing  is a long title, but perfectly describes this practical guide to getting noticed by the people who want your products or services.  Each of the five methods in the title gets an entire chapter.

The Facebook chapter includes step-by-step directions with helpful screen shots to guide you.  Instead of guessing which buttons to click, Pamela Wigglesworth tells you and shows you.  All those settings most casual users ignore are explained so you can adjust them for maximum benefit to your business.

What the author does for Facebook she repeats for LinkedIn.  A list of best practices helps you optimize your profile, join groups and discussions, create a company page and more.  

Email marketing is then explained in detail.  Wigglesworth offers recommendations for mailing list resources such as MailChimp.  Then it's on to press releases: how to write them and how often to write them.  Examples are included to make it easy to see what professional quality looks like.  Finally, video marketing is included with plenty of encouragement for reluctant business owners.  Consumers like video, so we must learn to use it even if video production is not our forte.

Overall, this is a great book packed with practical information you can use right away.  I received a free copy of the ebook for my honest review and am impressed with the quality.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Affordable ACT Coaching


Acing the ACT includes essential strategies for tackling tricky questions and generally approaching the exam.  The ACT is intended to be tricky to those who are not vigilant.  Author Elizabeth King shares her strategies from her experience preparing students for this college admission test.

Unlike most test guides, this book is compact enough to slip into a purse or large pocket.  Instead of endless practice tests, this book gives examples of the trickiest questions and how to conquer them.  King's advice on marking up a practice test to learn the types of mistakes you make means the student gets a customized test preparation that target their own areas of weakness.

I highly recommend Acing the ACT as an affordable, portable resource students may actually enjoy using.

I received a free review copy through Blogging for Books.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Intelligent Argument


Every time an atheist argues against God, he or she uses tools created by God to make the argument.  Thus Turek's title, Stealing from God.

Rather than try to prove the existence of God, Frank Turek addresses the question of which worldview best explains reality: theism or atheism.  As an engineer by training, I appreciate this approach.  Both sides must make their case when this question is posed.  Both theist and atheist must explain origins, physical laws of nature, logic, free will, the genetic code.....

Chapters include Causality, Reason, Information & Intentionality, Morality, Evil, and Science.  Each chapter illustrates how the atheist exhibits faith just as the theist does.  The difference is the theist acknowledges he is acting on faith while the atheist insists he is coldly logical (using laws and logic that only exist because of a transcendent "first cause.")

I recommend this book especially to youth teachers as preparation for seniors headed for college or career.  Parents can also use this at home for engaging dinner table discussions.  It is important to develop the mind.  Wisdom is crying out, offering itself to us; we should answer!

I received a free review copy of Stealing from God through the Tyndale Blog Network.

Atlantis: Legend or History?


Dennis Brooks has obviously read extensively about Atlantis and takes his reader through the writings of Plato as well as historians and archaeologists of several centuries.  Brooks has concluded that the Atlantis described in legends could refer to America.

Though the book jumps around a bit, being a compilation of several works, arguments are presented based on evidence of natural catastrophes (comet/great flood) that could possibly account for the similarities and differences between Atlantis and America.

If you are interested in ancient history, archaeology, or geology, this book is worth reading.  Many links to maps are included, although I would have preferred maps in the text for my convenience.

I received this book as a gift and enjoyed thinking about the ideas presented.